June 6, 2017

"Whisker fatigue."

I thought this NYT article was going to be about how we're tired of men with beards, but it's about cats getting their whiskers irritated by the edges of their food bowls.
When cats have to stick their faces into deep bowls and their whiskers rub up against the sides, the experience can be stressful, prompting them to paw the food onto the floor, fight with other cats or grow apprehensive at mealtimes.

Some companies have begun to advertise their food bowls as “whisker friendly.” One of them is Hepper, which makes whisker-conscious Nom Nom bowls ($39.99, or $71.99 for two), which are one inch deep and four-inches by five-inches wide. They are made of stainless steel, which — unlike plastic — will not harbor the bacteria that can lead to chin acne (known colloquially as “catne”).
Is this a promo for a company that makes insanely expensive cat bowls? I don't know but I think Dr. Catsby's Food Bowl for Whisker Relief looks pretty nice, and if you buy it using my link, you'll be helping the cause of the Althouse blog, which dogs the NYT daily, giving you your feed, and rubbing your whiskers just the right wrong way.

39 comments:

Larry J said...

As for men's beards, shaving is an unnatural act, possibly punishable by God. My beard will be removed when I'm cremated, not before.

Liesl said...

The reasoning for using the Althouse Portal is sound. I may buy this thing for that and that alone.

Rick Turley said...

I wish somebody would invent a water bowl to keep my avatar from splashing water all over the place. We believe he's part Bengal - a stray who just showed up at the back door one day - which would explain the fascination with water.

Ann Althouse said...

@Rick

What a beautiful cat! Love the colors.

Virtually Unknown said...

I like my beard. I think it is other people's honest opinion that they like it too, since I get unsolicited comments to that effect about once a month. But I have to admit I see lots of guys who should succumb to whisker fatigue.

MikeR said...

I actually prefer the older plastic bowls. I have trouble reaching to the corners of the fancy metal ones; my tongue isn't that long.

LordSomber said...

Wouldn't it be cheaper using an old hubcap?

Drago said...

Regular guy LordSomber: "Wouldn't it be cheaper using an old hubcap?"

Average NYT Reader: "What's a "hubcap"?"

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

A calico named Rupert? Yeesh, we have trans cats now.

I bought something like the setup in the article for our two cats a couple of months ago, though I wasn't thinking of "whisker fatigue." The only difficulty is that the shallow stainless-steel bowls (kibble and water both) do need to be refilled at least once a day.

tcrosse said...

A college friend had a full beard. His girlfriend made him shave it off, which revealed that he had no chin and looked like a doofus. Girlfriend moved on. Lesson learned.

Fernandinande said...

whisker-conscious Nom Nom bowls ($39.99, or $71.99 for two)

A plate from Value Village ($0.25 to $0.50, or $0.50 to $1.00 for two). Use the money you save to buy carbon credits to offset the cat farts.

Kevin said...

My cat does that. Thanks for the PSA.

Virtually Unknown said...

tcrosse, Sounds like he is well shed of her. Women have zero empathy for men. They have empathy for children, animals, and other women, but men are judged like livestock. It's an evolutionary imperative that devolves on their sex.

tcrosse said...

They have empathy for children, animals, and other women

Womens empathy for other women is highly conditional.

SoLastMillennium said...

Are you required to own a cat (or is the proper wording "to be owned by a cat"?) before commenting?


Bet any cat that's allowed outside time, like a good barn cat, does not even notice the existence of the bowl, just the food.

Birkel said...

Cats' whiskers tell them how wide the opening is. If the whiskers touch the side of the burrow into which they are chasing their prey, the cats know not to go too far. If the cat gets food from a bowl that activates the whisker mechanism they might disregard the whisker that developed due to natural selection.

Or so I hear tell.

Virtually Unknown said...

Womens empathy for other women is highly conditional

Yes, but at least it is possible, for men they can have sympathy, but not empathy except in the rarest of circumstances. Sometimes I think Dr Helen has actual empathy for men.

TWW said...

If it was from the NYT, the last prepositional phrase was not needed.

Earnest Prole said...

I thought we were supposed to feel guilty for First-World Problems.

urbane legend said...

Food Bowl for Whisker Relief

Clinton Foundation is desperate, aren't they?

Lance said...

Dr. Catsby's Food Bowl for Whisker Relief is "Temporarily out of stock."

Althouse gets results!

exiledonmainstreet said...

It's amazing that cats have managed to get by, chin acne and whisker irritation and all, for thousands of years without $40. food bowls. This will undoubtedly increase the number of their lives from 9 to at least 18.

Freeman Hunt said...

My cat has to paw a ball around to get his food. Not today though, he's in the animal hospital with a surgical complication. Hopefully he lives, and we get to bring him home.

Robert Cook said...

I got whisker fatigue...after 30 years. Whiskers now eleven years gone.

Ann Althouse said...

I hope your cat is doing better, Freeman.

Freeman Hunt said...

Thank you. He is better today than he was yesterday.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David-2 said...

A better way to deal with the problem of cats with sensitive whiskers would be to get rid of the cat.

William Chadwick said...

The Most Interesting Man in the World gets whisker fatique. But not from eating cat food . . . if you catch my drift.

Sydney said...

We just thought our cat was whiny and wanted her food and water bowls kept full just because. Now we know.

Lucien said...

My recently departed hero-cat Twister used to decant his food from bowls & dishes onto the floor, table, etc.

I'm pretty sure he did it just to fuck with me, and not because of his whiskers.

I sure do miss him.

bagoh20 said...

Mustache rides can lead to both whisker fatigue and chin acne.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

One of our cats is, we think, part bobcat. (Pants making a funny face for scale.) He is super fussy about his bowl being full, which now makes sense with this new information. His whisker wingspan is enormous. He has super giant paws, too! I love big cat and dog paws.

Rick Turley said...

Ann Althouse said...

"What a beautiful cat! Love the colors."

That's Murphy. He is very photogenic. Showed up at the back door during one of the universal moving days in Chicago about 13 years ago. Obviously pitched out when somebody moved to a apartment where pets were not allowed.

He has a sweet tooth - loves Easter time when the Cadbury eggs and chick Peeps are around the house. He's also a carb addict who begs for anything from a bakery but apple fritters are his fav. A strange but wonderful cat.

Rick Turley said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

"... I love big cat and dog paws."

If you ever get the chance, go for a Maine Coon cat, or its cousin the Norwegian Forest cat, or a mix which are everywhere at shelters:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/69586/10-furry-facts-about-norwegian-forest-cats

They are the most doglike of cats. Mostly very good natured and even tempered. When I volunteered at an animal shelter in Chicago, I placed a BIG white Maine Coon male with a couple who had three Pugs. He was leader of the pack within the week and the dogs adored him. They had to make a custom dog bed so they would all fit.

Mountain Maven said...

U have a blue state govt pension, no thanks

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

If you ever get the chance, go for a Maine Coon cat, or its cousin the Norwegian Forest cat, or a mix which are everywhere at shelters:

Funny you should mention that ~ we also have a Maine Coon. (We have a total of five, sigh. My husband is a huge cat lover and used to volunteer at shelters.) I hate her fur mess but love her disposition! She's not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree but she's a sweetheart. She is also a carb addict as you describe your cat, above. Mr. Pants sneaks her bits of donut and cheeseburger when I'm not looking, which she adores.

tcrosse said...

Our Maine Coon Cat is very doggy indeed, huge paws and all. But when we adopted her from a shelter 12 years ago, we were asking ourselves whether she was really a house cat and not some sort of wild feline beast. God help any mouse that makes its way into our house.

Black Bellamy said...

My cat eats off a plate.